Getting so many players involved early in the season is a nice development for the Nashville Predators.
After two games, they’ve had 15 players land on the scoring sheet with at least a goal or an assist. They’ll look for more Monday night when the Carolina Hurricanes visit for the first of two games on consecutive nights.
“You can’t just ride your one line or top two lines,” Predators center Colton Sissons said, “so it’s nice to see some guys get rewarded.”
The Hurricanes already have had a disruption while splitting two games in Detroit to begin the season. Captain Jordan Staal missed Saturday night’s loss as he was on the team’s COVID-19 protocol list.
“That’s what it looks like when he’s out of our lineup and we’ve got to figure it out,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “We have to have guys step up when someone like that is out, and we have in the past.”
Staal’s status is in doubt for this week.
It has been different so far for the Predators. They’ve had answers from a variety of sources.
“It’s good to see because it’s something where you have to be a complete team to win,” Nashville coach John Hynes said. “We’re going to need to be a complete team to win this year.”
The Predators won twice at home against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Nashville showed many positive signs in the 5-2 victory Saturday night. Now it’s a matter of continuing to build on that.
“Just being more comfortable each game,” center Luke Kunin said. “It’s just capitalizing on chances.”
Converting in the third periods has been an early trend for the Predators.
“It has gotten us two wins in two games,” Sissons said. “It has been there so far, and hopefully we can keep this up.”
Goalie Juuse Saros made 42 saves for Nashville in the second game. He has allowed three goals on 74 shots across the two games.
After an impressive opening-night victory, it went sour for the Hurricanes in the next game.
“I didn’t know what I was watching for the first two periods,” Brind’Amour said. “We gave away 40 minutes. You can’t do that in this league.”
Still, being tied early on in the third period was an encouraging situation.
The Hurricanes are pleased with how goalie Petr Mrazek has embarked on the season. He wasn’t blamed for some of the breakdowns.
“I don’t think we gave away that many breakaways in one year, and we gave them up in one game,” Brind’Amour said.
Andrei Svechnikov came through with solid third-period play Saturday, providing an assist and a goal. He was joined by others,but the Carolina coach said a subpar tone already had been set.
“You have to have everyone going,” Brind’Amour said.
Svechnikov secured his 100th and 101st career points.
Morgan Geekie joined the lineup to replace Staal, appearing in his third NHL game. He played almost 11 and a half minutes with three shots on goal.
This week’s two meetings between Carolina and Nashville will be their lone get-togethers until the second week of March.
–Field Level Media